Health and wellness is an in-demand industry, with no sign of slowing down through 2020. Jobs in this field are among the fastest growing occupations, with growth driven by more and more Americans adopting lifestyles that promote well-being.
Health and wellness occupations differ widely, but common to all is that they are focused on health—preventative, curative, rehabilitative, or palliative care.
Jobs in this industry are growing at the incredible rate of 33 percent. That’s millions of more jobs than other industries, where the average growth rate is 14 percent. There are hundreds of in-demand occupations to choose from. Think for a minute about health care and wellness programs, and all of the many possible careers under those two categories. We’ve listed three top choices below.
[Get started on a degree in Health Sciences today. One of these fast-paced careers could be yours.]
Health educators work in schools, nonprofit organizations, government offices, or hospitals to teach behaviors that encourage wellness. A health educator’s duties may include developing material for campaigns (such as smoking cessation) or responding to emergencies with information to help keep people safe, such as how to prevent infectious disease. In schools, a health educator is responsible for educating students on everything from the dangers of drugs to the importance of a balanced diet. The median annual wage for health educators was $48,790 in 2012, with the top 10 percent earning up to $86,810.
- Bachelor of science in health and wellness or a bachelor of science in health science is typically necessary for entry-level positions.
- Master of science in health education or a masters in public health may be required for senior-level roles.
Occupational therapists work with ill, injured, or disabled patients to help them manage their daily life better—from relearning self-care skills such as feeding or dressing, to improving mobility. In nursing homes, the occupational therapist may recommend a wheelchair for an older patient, and teach the patient how to use it. In hospitals, the occupational therapist may work with stroke victims to help them regain abilities that may have been lost as a result of the stroke. No matter where they work, occupational therapists help people develop, recover, or improve skills that may be impaired due to an illness or an injury. The median annual wage for occupational therapists was $75,400 in 2012, with the top 10 percent earning up to $107,070.
- Master’s degree in occupational therapy is the most common path to this career. Admission to the master’s degree program will require a bachelor’s of science in a related field of study.
- To be licensed, it’s necessary to pass the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) exam.
Dietitians and Nutritionists
Dietitians and nutritionists provide information and advice about the effects of food on well being. They may be self-employed or work for hospitals, schools, or government agencies.
Clinical dietitians provide medical nutritional programs for hospital or care facility patients. Management dietitians are responsible for the menus in food service settings such as cafeterias or food corporations. Community dietitians work in health clinics, government, and nonprofit agencies to educate the public on food and nutrition, such as pregnancy nutrition. The median annual wage for dietitians and nutritionists was $55,240 in 2012, with the top 10 percent earning up to $77,590.
- Bachelor of science in nutrition science or a related program.
- State licensing and state certification may also be necessary to practice, depending on location.
New opportunities are also being created all the time. Take wellness coaching, for example. It barely existed ten years ago. Today it’s one of many health and wellness careers providing opportunities for all ages—from those in their twenties who might be just starting their career to those making a major career change in their sixties.
Health and wellness career opportunities outpace all other industries.
Health and Wellness General Education Requirements
Careers that promote healthy living come with an education investment. They most often require a bachelor’s degree at entry level and higher degrees to progress within the industry. Useful degrees for this industry include the following:
- Bachelor’s of Science in Health and Wellness
- Bachelor’s of Science in Health Sciences
- Master’s of Public Health
- Master’s of Health Education
Did you know that you can get your degree by studying from home? Accredited bachelor’s and master’s programs are available online. They provide a flexible schedule, so you can balance work and family life with the pursuit of learning.
The potential ROI? Very promising, in terms of earning potential, job opportunity, and career satisfaction. The health care industry is the fastest growing industry in the nation—with up to 22 thousand more jobs predicted by 2020—and it provides some of the best-paying jobs.
[Find scholarships for health careers to help pay for school.]